31th August: Port Hood to Margaree Harbour
Odometer: 74 km, Start: 10.00am, Finish: 4.00pm, Avg: 18.7 km/h,
Weather: Sunny AM, cloudy PM, Temp: 16-23°C
Road Conditions: #19/219 (Ceilidh Trail), small gravel or no shoulder, reasonable road surface, very light traffic. Services: Inverness (45km). Ascent: 475m/450m.
I have a fairly relaxed schedule planned for Cape Breton to cater for the very “scenic” (i.e. hilly) terrain. Today I had a leisurely 75km ride northwards to pick up the Cabot Trail.
I had breakfast at the same place I had my meal last night, looking out again over the water. I hit the road around 10am and rode slowly to the next village of Mabou. This town had great scenery around it’s bay area. I also stumbled across the bike trail I’d used yesterday.
I took the trail (which I'm pretty sure now was once a railway line) all the way to Inverness, one of the larger (but still small) towns on my route around the island. I was glad of the shade of the trail as the sky was clear, the sun was out and it was already very warm.
Just before Inverness I counted down to my 8,000th kilometre on this trip! That’s 5,000 miles for all you imperialists. I can confirm that is a long way on a bicycle in 2.5 months…
I’ve stopped in Margaree Harbour this evening, which is another nice coastal location with pleasant views. It’s also on the Cabot Trail road. Therefore, the fun should begin tomorrow…
I say should begin. I’ve found out tonight that another hurricane (Earl) is forecast to threaten Nova Scotia / Newfoundland at the end of the week. (Hurricane Danielle I wrote about a while back didn’t affect the region).
It leaves me with a dilemma. It will take me 3 days to get around the Cabot Trail and back to North Sydney (for the ferry to Newfoundland). I might run into strong winds (or worse) during the Friday and I’d still be on exposed coastal roads. Strong winds on a loaded touring bike would be an absolute no-no.
I could bail out from Margaree Harbour and head straight for North Sydney via Baddeck and beat the stormy weather by a day. I’d miss the Cabot Trail, of course, but at least I’d be in the right place to sit out a possible storm and watch for information on the Newfoundland ferry.
I think it’s a decision for the morning after viewing the latest forecast…